I switched to Unique powder today for the .357's. I am not sure about the loading data in the Lee manual. 158gr lead max is 6.0gr, 158gr jacketed XTP is 7.7 gr. seems like a pretty wide spread considering the documented velocity is 1040 for both. Since I am using 158gr copper plated, I ended up at 6.4gr and maxed out the velocity of the bullet out of that 20" Henry @ average of 1240fps. I double checked Berry's and they have 1250fpr as the max velocity for that specific bullet. of the 9 I tested, I had 1 hit that 1250 but nothing over it. Seated them at 1.570 or 0.020 below max. Had 1 hangup but I don't really feel all that comfortable seating any deeper as its close enough to the taper on the bullet for my comfort. Seemed pretty accurate at 40 yards but I will do a paper test when the weather clears.
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Unique is very good powder but it's on the dirty side. Someone told me they changed it so it's not so dirty anymore but i haven't bought any new nor do i know for sure if that's true. Either way like i said it works good, has been around forever and you should be able to use it in most if not all your pistol ammo.
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I use it for 44 mag target and in my 45 colt loads. It is a little dirty. But i had some pistol powders that were dirty too. Seams like if you have a good crimp it does not soot up the brass so much.
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It’s still dirty but I do like it. Appears to be pretty stable. Once you get to a certain point with that 20” barrel you can predict pretty close that +/- 0.1gr is +/- 10fps. I’m sure it’ll be different in a pistol. There was 25fps variation with each group of 3.
Unique has been used in the .357 magnum for a very long time. However, the case capacity of the .357 mag is 25.6 grains (H2O) therefore, a load of 6 grains is very low loading density (about 23 or 24 percent). This has always been too low for my tastes even if you get a lot of loads from a pound of powder. On the down side the possibility of double (or even triple) loads exists and low load density can contribute to ignition problems as a function of gun position. (With muzzle down the powder moves away from the primer.) Also, I always found Unique kind of dirty burning. Anyway, if you want to load Unique I'd try a cartridge with less capacity.
i have not used UNIQUE for the past couple of years........
its a decent jack of all trades powder........
for a man whom wants to use only one powder for the vast majority of handgun calibers......it does purty fair.....if you are not trying to wring every fps possible out of a round for magnums.......and do not mind using a tad more powder for milder loads..........
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Seems like a good powder to practice with. As far as the magnums, I’m limited by my bullet choice at the moment. For plinking they are great though. Cleaner barrel than lead cast and not as expensive as FMJs. Just can’t push them as hard as an FMJ.
I shot a lot of 357 and 44 mag with Unique and 2400. I started with it and never searched for the perfect powder because I thought I was already using it. If it was good enough for Elmer Keith it was good enough for me. I seem to remember that oily sooty residue from Unique. I hardly cleaned my guns and considered it a protective coating. I seem to remember Unique filling the case nicely making it harder to double charge. I tend to find a brand I like and stick with it. All my powders were Hercules and expanded to colored dots as I loaded for shotshell.
Not to get too nostalgic but remember wishing those $10 cardboard canisters were cheaper. Primers were less than a penny a piece and the cast lead bullets I got were a few cents apiece. Sounds cheap today but Uncle Sam was only paying me around 4-500 bucks a month. It was hard to make ends meet back then and starting a family put a big crimp in my reloading. I had a span of zero shooting activity for a while. I remember when my daughter was born my hunting temporarily stopped.
Anyway old people like to talk about the good old days. I say we bring those days back and make America great again. I remember my dad telling me something that made no sense. He said the most fun times he had in his life was when he had no money. To a high school kid that sounds like lunacy. It makes perfect sense to me now approaching social security and having some disposable income. I know the most fun I had and I enjoyed life most when I had no money.
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